News for Knife Knights

NEWS : TUE, OCT 15, 2019 at 1:57 PM

Watch Knife Knights’ Psychedelic New Video for “Drag Race Legend” from ‘1 Time Mirage’

Knife Knights perform in Seattle on Wednesday, October 16th at Earshot Jazz Festival (at the Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute).

Today, Knife Knights (The Palaceer aka Ishmael Butler, Erik Blood, OCnotes and Marquetta Miller) share a dizzying new visual for “Drag Race Legend,” a psychedelic tale of wasted youth, directed by Joshua M. Johnson. The young man has a penchant for street racing, skipping school and getting high. He proclaims himself a legend, drinks spodie and parties with dorks like Billy Parker.”  




1 Time Mirage is out now on CD/LP/DL/CS worldwide from Sub Pop. The long-player features the aforementioned “Drag Race Legend,” with additional highlights “My Dreams Never Sleep”  “Give You Game,” “Seven Wheel Motion,” “Light Up Ahead (Time Mirage)” and “Low Key,” and was as produced by Ishmael Butler and Erik Blood at Protect and Exalt: A Black Space in Seattle.  1 Time Mirage includes guest appearances from labelmates Shabazz Palaces and Porter Ray, along with Stas THEE Boss, Thaddillac, El Mizell, Gerald Turner, and Darrius Willrich.


1 Time Mirage orders through megamart.subpop.comselect independent retailers and Knife Knights shows will receive the limited Loser edition on blue vinyl (while supplies last). The album cover also features gorgeous artwork from Robert Beatty.


What “The People” have said about Knife Knights 1 Time Mirage:
“[A] spellbinding fusion of rap, blessed funk, and tough soul” - London in Stereo
 
“The result is an album of eminently listenable sonic frontierism, and Butler’s most accessible work in years.” [4/5] - MOJO
 
 “[A] suite of sci-fi cosmic hip-hop that takes myriad turns and twists, none of them predictable, all of them compelling.”  - The Wire
 
“Like Butler’s frequent collaborator Flying Lotus, Knife Knights create a rich, fibrous world around each of the tracks on 1 Time Mirage. This is an album whose air you can breathe, whose fragrant musk seeps from each detail. Its production has an insomniac energy, oddly tranquil and unsettled at the same time, each dab of reverb and tickling delay sending ripples through the fug of warped beats and sardonic rhymes.”  [8/10] - Loud & Quiet
 
“1 Time Mirage leapfrogs across several different genres and subgenres, pulling hip-hop, psychedelic soul, and shoegaze into an 11-track set of chaotic noise. Between the woozy bounce of “Seven Wheel Motion,” the house-inflected stomp of “Can’t Draw The Line,” and the hazy pop of “Come On Let’s Go,” the album is easily as esoteric as anything created by Shabazz Palaces; but the music here feels lusher and more sophisticated.” - Bandcamp Daily


Posted by Rachel White

NEWS : TUE, AUG 27, 2019 at 1:57 PM

Watch The Fantastical New Knife Knights Video For “Seven Wheel Motion” Directed by Marcy Stone Francois

“In the towers way up high in the sky do or die you should try birds-eye who’s inside…” 

- from Knife Knights “Seven Wheel Motion” 

Today, Knife Knights are sharing a hallucinatory new visual for “Seven Wheel Motion,” from 1 Time Mirage, directed by Marcy Stone Francois (Tacocat, Lisa Prank, Wimps).  

In “Seven Wheel Motion” colossal drums puncture walls of labyrinthine noise sculpted from deranged synthesizers and mutated guitars, yielding an absolute powerhouse of a track. Butler seems to rap in dialogue with himself, detailing a threatening streetscape and shaping the experience into personal realizations. 




In the “Seven Wheel Motion” visual, the song soundtracks the fantastical “Twin Queen Tryst” short film. Set in an alien landscape, a queen (played by Rhonda Faison of Shabazz Palaces “Déesse Du Sang” video) sends her royal subject (played by The Palaceer) on a quest for a magical jewel. Along the way, he encounters a mystical being (played by OCnotes) who helps the subject with his quest to return the jewel to the queen. This wild new video also features scene art by Olde Nightrifter and cinematography from Futsum Tsegai. 

Knife Knights (The Palaceer aka Ishmael Butler, Erik Blood, OCnotes and Marquetta Miller) have a scheduled performance in Seattle on Wednesday, October 16th at Earshot Jazz Festival (at the Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute).


[Photo Credit: Justin Henning]

1 Time Mirage is out now on CD/LP/DL/CS worldwide from Sub Pop. The long-player features the highlights the aforementioned “My Dreams Never Sleep” along with “Give You Game,” “Seven Wheel Motion,” “Light Up Ahead (Time Mirage)” and “Low Key,” and was as produced by Ishmael Butler and Erik Blood at Protect and Exalt: A Black Space in Seattle.  1 Time Mirage includes guest appearances from labelmates Shabazz Palaces and Porter Ray, along with Stas THEE Boss, OCnotes, Thaddillac, El Mizell, Marquetta Miller, Gerald Turner, and Darrius Willrich.


1 Time Mirage orders through megamart.subpop.com, select independent retailers and Knife Knights shows will receive the limited Loser edition on blue vinyl (while supplies last). The album cover also features gorgeous artwork from Robert Beatty.


Posted by Rachel White

NEWS : MON, MAR 4, 2019 at 3:57 PM

Knife Knights Announce First-Ever North American Tour in Support of ‘1 Time Mirage,’ and Share the Official Video for “My Dreams Never Sleep”

Knife Knights have delivered a new video for “My Dreams Never Sleep,” a standout from 1 Time Mirage, their Sub Pop debut. The slightly NSFW and psychedelic visual was directed by animator Joe Garber (illustrator for Foo Fighters The Making of Concrete and Gold) and is a meditation on love, loss and letting go both on a mortal plane and in the afterlife. Garber offers this on the video, “In a dream, she calls him onward, and in sleep, she calls him back.”




Knife Knights Tour Dates + Ticket Links

Knife Knights (Ishmael Butler, Erik Blood, and OCnotes) have also announced their first-ever North American tour in support of 1 Time Mirage, which begins April 25th in Tacoma at the Tacoma Elks Temple and currently ends May 24th in Oakland at The New Parish. On select dates along the tour, there will be special guest appearances from the 1 Time Mirage universe. And from May 1st through May 24th, the group will be joined by Mello Music Group recording artist Lando Chill as direct support.
 
Apr. 25 - Tacoma, WA - Tacoma Elks Temple
Apr. 26 - Victoria, BC - Eventide Music Series at Centennial Square
Apr. 27 - Vancouver, BC - Fortune Sound Club
May 01- Milwaukee, WI - Colectivo Coffee Back Room *
May 02 - Minneapolis, MN - Icehouse *
May 03 - Chicago, IL - Sleeping Village *
May 04 - Detroit, MI - The Lager House *
May 05 - Bloomington, IN - The Bishop Bar *
May 06 - Columbus, OH - Ace of Cups *
May 07 - Lakewood, OH -Mahall’s 20 Lanes *
May 09 - Providence, RI - Columbus Theatre (small room) *
May 10 - Brooklyn, NY - Knitting Factory *
May 11 - Washington, DC - The Pie Shop Bar at Dangerously Delicious Pies *
May 13 - Atlanta, GA - Aisle 5 *
May 14 - Tallahassee, FL - Club Downunder *
May 15 - Oxford, MS - Proud Larry’s *
May 17 - Austin, TX - Empire Control Room *
May 18 - Dallas, TX - Ruins *
May 21 - Tuscon, AZ - Club Congress *
May 22 - Phoenix, AZ - Crescent Ballroom *
May 23 - Los Angeles, CA - Bootleg Theatre *
May 24 - Oakland, CA - The New Parish *
* w/ Lando Chill



1 Time Mirage is out now on CD/LP/DL/CS worldwide from Sub Pop. The long-player features the highlights the aforementioned “My Dreams Never Sleep” along with “Give You Game,” “Seven Wheel Motion,” “Light Up Ahead (Time Mirage)” and “Low Key,” and was as produced by Ishmael Butler and Erik Blood at Protect and Exalt: A Black Space in Seattle.  1 Time Mirage includes guest appearances from labelmates Shabazz Palaces and Porter Ray, along with Stas THEE Boss, OCnotes, Thaddillac, El Mizell, Marquetta Miller, Gerald Turner, and Darrius Willrich.
 
1 Time Mirage orders through megamart.subpop.comselect independent retailers and Knife Knights shows will receive the limited Loser edition on blue vinyl (while supplies last). The album cover also features gorgeous artwork from Robert Beatty.


Posted by Rachel White

NEWS : FRI, SEP 14, 2018 at 4:00 PM

Watch Knife Knights’ Official Video for “Low Key” Directed by Dean Blunt + Stream ‘1 Time Mirage,’ Their Excellent New Album Out Today

Knife Knights have shared a new visual for the song “Low Key,” from 1 Time Mirage, their otherworldly debut, directed by Dean Blunt. Gorilla vs. Bear premiered the visual and had this to say, “Knife Knights team up with a kindred experimental spirit in enigmatic London luminary Dean Blunt on the visuals for “Low Key“, taken from Knife Knights’ fathomless new debut LP 1 Time Mirage. The group’s bio refers to the hazy “Low Key” as a “radiant daydream,” and Blunt takes that concept in an impenetrably nebulous direction [see September 13th post].”

 

1 Time Mirage is out today on CD/LP/DL/CS worldwide from Sub Pop. The long-player features the highlights “Give You Game,”“Seven Wheel Motion,”“My Dreams Never Sleep”“Light Up Ahead (Time Mirage)”and the aforementioned “Low Key.” The album also includes guest appearances from labelmates Shabazz Palaces and Porter Ray, along with Stas THEE Boss, OCnotes, Thaddillac, El Mizell, Marquetta Miller, Gerald Turner, and Darrius Willrich. 1 Time Mirage was produced by Ishmael Butler and Erik Blood at Protect and Exalt: A Black Space in Seattle.  


Spotify (Album Stream):  spoti.fi/2x7rBql
Apple Music (Album Stream):  apple.co/2tf7AMF

London in Stereo says 1 Time Mirage is “[A] spellbinding fusion of rap, blessed funk, and tough soul, and The Wire called it a “suite of sci-fi cosmic hip-hop that takes myriad turns and twists, none of them predictable, all of them compelling.” 

Meanwhile, Loud and Quiet, in its 8/10 review, had this say, “Like Butler’s frequent collaborator Flying Lotus, Knife Knights create a rich, fibrous world around each of the tracks on 1 Time Mirage. This is an album whose air you can breathe, whose fragrant musk seeps from each detail. Its production has an insomniac energy, oddly tranquil and unsettled at the same time, each dab of reverb and tickling delay sending ripples through the fug of warped beats and sardonic rhymes.” 
 
And Bandcamp Daily offered this, “1 Time Mirage leapfrogs across several different genres and subgenres, pulling hip-hop, psychedelic soul, and shoegaze into an 11-track set of chaotic noise. Between the woozy bounce of “Seven Wheel Motion,” the house-inflected stomp of “Can’t Draw The Line,” and the hazy pop of “Come On Let’s Go,” the album is easily as esoteric as anything created by Shabazz Palaces; but the music here feels lusher and more sophisticated.”
 
1 Time Mirage purchases through megamart.subpop.com and select independent retailers will receive the limited Loser edition pressed on blue and white marbled vinyl (while supplies last). The album cover also features gorgeous artwork from Robert Beatty.


Posted by Rachel White

NEWS : WED, AUG 22, 2018 at 1:58 PM

See/Hear Knife Knights’ “Seven Wheel Motion,” The Colossal New Track From ‘1 Time Mirage’ (out 9/14)

Watch KEXP live performances of 1 Time Mirage tracks “Seven Wheel Motion,” “Give You Game,” and “My Dreams Never Sleep”

Knife Knights have shared “Seven Wheel Motion,” a new offering from 1 Time Mirage, their forthcoming debut album for Sub Pop. Colossal drums puncture walls of labyrinthine noise sculpted from deranged synthesizers and mutated guitars throughout and is an absolute powerhouse of a song. Ishmael Butler seems to rap in dialogue with himself, detailing a threatening streetscape and shaping the experience into personal realizations. “Smooth landings, queens in tandems, cash in grand sums,” he declares at one point. “Life is random/I roll the dice and bet on me.”

Knife Knights recently premiered the aforementioned “Seven Wheel Motion” with additional 1 Time Mirage standouts “Give You Game,” and “My Dreams Never Sleep” live for KEXP. Watch now [see July 19th session].

Knife Knights recently premiered the aforementioned “Seven Wheel Motion” with additional 1 Time Mirage standouts “Give You Game,” and “My Dreams Never Sleep” live for KEXP. [see July 19th session.]


1 Time Mirage will be available worldwide September 14th from Sub Pop. The otherworldly long-player features guest appearances from labelmates Shabazz Palaces and Porter Ray, along with Stas THEE Boss, OCnotes, Thaddillac, El Mizell, Marquetta Miller, Gerald Turner, and Darrius Willrich. The album was produced by Ishmael Butler and Erik Blood at Protect and Exalt: A Black Space in Seattle.  

Preorders of 1 Time Mirage through megamart.subpop.com and select independent retailers will receive the limited Loser edition pressed on blue and white marbled vinyl. The 1 Time Mirage album cover also features artwork from Robert Beatty.




Posted by Rachel White

NEWS : THU, JUL 19, 2018 at 7:00 PM

Knife Knights Reveal ‘1 Time Mirage,’ The Hermetic Duo’s Transcendent First Album + Live Performance Debut Via KEXP

Now listen to tracks “Light Up Ahead (Time Mirage)” & “My Dreams Never Sleep.”

YouTube: https://bit.ly/2NS5yL3
Spotify (audio): https://spoti.fi/2mkFcop
Apple Music (audio): https://apple.co/2mlnXTW

On September 14th, Sub Pop will release 1 Time Mirage, the otherworldly debut long-player from the hermetic duo Knife Knights. The 11-track album features standouts “My Dreams Never Sleep,” and “Light Up Ahead (Time Mirage),” along with the previously released introductory single (+ official video) for “Give You Game [see here].” 1 Time Mirage features guest appearances from labelmates Shabazz Palaces and Porter Ray, along with Stas Thee Boss, OCnotes, Thaddillac, El Mizell, Marquetta Miller, Gerald Turner, and Darrius Willrich. The album was produced by Ishmael Butler and Erik Blood at Protect and Exalt: A Black Space in Seattle.  
 
In further exciting news, Knife Knights make their live debut on KEXP in Seattle today. Watch now [see interview & live stream July 19th; noon PST]!

[Album Cover Art by  Robert Beatty]
 
Knife Knights 1 Time Mirage will be available on CD/LP/DL/CS worldwide from Sub Pop. Preorders of the album through megamart.subpop.com and select independent retailers will receive the limited Loser edition pressed on blue and white marbled vinyl.

Knife Knights
1 Time Mirage
Tracklisting

 
1. Bionic Chords (feat. OCnotes & Darrius Willrich)
2. Drag Race Legend
3. Give You Game (feat. Marquetta Miller & Stas Thee Boss)
4. Light Up Ahead (Time Mirage) [feat. Porter Ray, Gerald Turner, Darrius Willrich, OCnotes & Shabazz Palaces]
5. Seven Wheel Motion
6. Low Key (feat. Shabazz Palaces)
7. My Dreams Never Sleep (feat. OCnotes, Marquetta Miller & Shabazz Palaces)
8. Light Work (feat. El Mizell)
9. Can’t Draw the Line (feat. OCnotes)
10. Come On Let’s Go (feat. OCnotes & Marquetta Miller)
11. Mr. President

[Photo Credit: Justin Henning]
 
Knife Knights were born of the love of mystery.
 
A decade ago, Ishmael Butler—the architect of the groundbreaking but long-disbanded hip-hop group Digable Planets—was preparing at last to emerge from years of near-complete silence. He unveiled his new outlet, Shabazz Palaces, in the summer of 2009 through a pair of self-released EPs, surrounding his hyperlinked verses with webs of psychedelic textures and refracted rhythms. From the start, confidentiality seemed essential: Butler wanted Shabazz Palaces to stand on its own strength, not his outsized reputation, so he adopted a nom de plume for himself.
 
As the project’s network expanded, though, he needed new monikers for his partnerships. Knife Knights is the name he gave to his work with Seattle engineer, producer, songwriter, and film composer Erik Blood, a vital force in the Shabazz Palaces universe. Now, after more than a decade of collaboration and the development into of a rich friendship, Butler and Blood have made a proper full-length record together as Knife Knights: 1 Time Mirage, an eleven-track odyssey that finds the pair and a cast of their friends weaving together a singular world of soul and shoegaze, hip-hop and lush noise, bass and bedlam. 1 Time Mirage represents a playground for Butler and Blood, a free space for unfettered exploration, and a radically adventurous start to something much more than a mere production duo or side project.
 
Butler and Blood met in 2003 at a Spiritualized show in Seattle, introduced by a mutual friend who was soon set to record Butler in his studio. A Digable Planets zealot, Blood was floored, passing a bootleg copy of Blowout Comb to his friend for an autograph (which Butler dutifully provided). For the next few years, they’d run into one another by chance and sometimes make small talk about working together. When Butler finally sent him a few tunes to mix, the kinship seemed obvious and immediate. Though Butler had grown up as a hip-hop student, he’d started absorbing shoegaze rock and ambient soundscapes, too. Blood, meanwhile, was an ardent hip-hop fan who had always been an inclusive listener. On every Shabazz Palaces album, Butler and Blood have delighted at that artistic intersection, constantly indoctrinating hip-hop in new worlds of sound. “He takes my ideas and clarifies and pronounces them, helps me realize them,” explains Butler. “He helps me get to the essence.”
 
Recorded in three fertile sessions interrupted by Shabazz Palaces tours and Blood’s recording projects, 1 Time Mirage is a profound fulfilment of that partnership, realized at the crossroads of Butler’s and Blood’s mutual enthusiasms. Their shared interests have been split into pieces and fused together with enviable imagination. Take “Give You Game,” where Butler and Blood weave their distant voices through a landscape of synthesizers and drums that bubble up sporadically, like geysers. Marquetta Miller and THEESatisfaction’s Stasia Irons soon join, their round tones lacing around those sounds and giving them shape. It is an abstract anthem to astral love.
 
“Low Key” suggests a radiant daydream, with kaleidoscopic synthesizers and faded harmonies pirouetting over puzzle pieces of dizzying percussion and understated funk. “Can’t Draw the Line” rushes headlong like some narcotized disco fantasy, with its four planted firmly on the floor but Butler’s breathy voice and an armada of synthesizers stretching skyward. They splice doo-wop harmonies to scattered dub rhythms during “Light Up Ahead (Time Mirage),” hard-edged verses to industrial din during “ Mr. President.” Colossal drums puncture walls of labyrinthine noise sculpted from deranged synthesizers and mutated guitars during “Seven Wheel Motion,” an absolute powerhouse. Butler seems to rap in dialogue with himself, detailing a threatening streetscape and shaping the experience into personal realizations. “Smooth landings, queens in tandems, cash in grand sums,” he declares at one point. “Life is random/I roll the dice and bet on me.”
 
In the decade since Butler launched Shabazz Palaces and first christened his partnership with Blood as Knife Knights, much of that project’s external mystery has, of course, fallen away. And 1 Time Mirage is a very public step forward for the pair. That early sense of secrecy has given way to a spirit of friendship and creative candor, to the doors of experimentation being thrown open by old pals thrilled by the prospect of testing new ideas.  

Still, these eleven songs retain a core of intrigue and, indeed, mystery; each listen reveals yet another connection between infinite and interlocking pieces. To wit, Robert Beatty’s brilliant cover for 1 Time Mirage depicts a futuristic vehicle, being coolly steered with one hand into some great, mildly ominous unknown. That’s how these songs feel, too—confident conquests of the dark that unlock sounds and spaces you have yet to imagine.


Posted by Rachel White